Jaya Tanwani is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at the University of Toronto
An interesting experience I had with cultural safety was when I volunteered at medical camps in rural Pakistan at age sixteen. My parents had taken my brother and me back to Pakistan—a country that we belonged to but had never resonated with—to visit our extended family and “get in touch with our roots.” As part of my parents’ efforts to help us become more aware of the privileged North American lives we lived, they insisted that I work with some doctors in running a medical camp. Having been attracted to medicine since I was a child, I leapt at the opportunity… only to shy away from the idea five minutes later when they told me that the medical camps were in rural Pakistan. I was scared. I didn’t want to desert the comforts of urban Pakistan, where McDonald’s and Pizza Hut were a block away and where I could still wear my Canadian attire. I was certainly not comfortable with the idea of working with a group of people so different from myself and so different from the modern, chic Pakistani society that my relatives lived in. ...continue reading
University of Toronto
Class of 2016
Gulliver’s Travels, a familiar story from many of our childhoods, lends itself to highlight the significance of cultural psychiatry. Do we – as the tiny people of Lilliput were so quick to bind the shipwrecked Gulliver – similarly evaluate the patient in front of us with a reflexive comfort of our own sociocultural experiences? In view of such juxtaposition of ...continue reading
Sarah Currie is a medical copy editor on CMAJ
Whether or not you’re a fan of the NFL or the Minnesota Vikings, chances are you’ve heard of Adrian Peterson and the debate over corporal punishment that has been reignited as a result of his indictment on charges of negligent injury to a child. Mr. Peterson used a “switch” to discipline his four-year-old son. In text messages to his son’s mother, he admitted that he may have gone too far in doing so. The child’s skin was broken in several places across the backs of his thighs and buttocks. At least once, the switch hit the child’s scrotum.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, right is right and wrong is wrong,” said Jim Rome of CBS Sports’ The NFL Today, when interviewing Charles Barkley, who appeared to defend corporal punishment in some cultural contexts. Is he right? Is there no room for moral relativism in some debates?
Professor Britney Cooper, PhD, author of a Salon article, commenting on the Adrian Peterson case and exploring the intersection of parenting and race, provides some perspective on the differences between how white and black parents discipline their children ...continue reading